M.N. Venkatachaliah, former Chief Justice of India, on Sunday expressed concern that the country had reached a stage of negative social critical mass that unleashes a chain of destructive reactions due to various lacunae.
“This situation is a cause of concern as we are in a stage of destructive reactions and not reasoning,” he said, while participating at the launch of new editions of four books of journalist-turned-politician Arun Shourie at a programme jointly organised by HarperCollins Publishers Indian and Jagriti here.
“We must know that children are taught in schools and educated at home. This is the problem as the parents are now not free to focus on their children at homes. The whole thing needs a relook from the educational perspective,” he said, while referring to the earlier practice of children learning about values at home.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Shourie called upon parents to teach their wards about the importance of values by setting themselves as examples.
Mr. Shourie, who shared his experiences as a writer, stressed the need for people to speak their mind irrespective of whether others approve of it or not.
Narrating how those who did not agree with his views mentioned in his books related to B.R. Ambedkar and fatwas physically assaulted him, poured tar on him, and abused him, Mr. Shourie said finally it was B.R. Ambedkar’s grandson Prakash Ambedkar who came to his rescue by telling people that the answer to [Shourie’s] book was a [another] book and not violence.
Mr. Shourie said that public discourse was dominated by people, especially politicians, who believed in nothing. “People do not believe Congress’ talks of secularism and the BJP’s Hindutva as they think that neither of these parties believe in either,” he pointed out.
Speaking on the occasion, the former Karnataka Lokayukta N. Santosh Hegde advised the youth to try and understand the true meaning of world contentment. “It is not real contentment when you acquire some illegitimate wealth. This is only temporary as the next day itself you would want to acquire more. The true contentment comes only when you get something legitimately through hard work.”
The new editions of books released at the programme were Does he know a mother’s heart: how suffering refutes religions ; Worshipping false gods – Ambedkar and the facts that have been erased ; The work of fatwas – or the Sharia in action ; and Falling over backwards – An essay of reservations and judicial populism .